Vegan Cauliflower And Green Bean Casserole Recipe

Green bean casserole is a long-standing Thanksgiving side dish that has graced holiday tables for nearly 70 years. The dish was created by Dorcas Reilly for the Campbell's test kitchen in 1955. This post-war era saw the rise in popularity of convenience cooking and packaged foods, and Reilly's assignment was to create a recipe with inexpensive ingredients most home cooks could access — in this case, Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup.

While the original recipe is still popular, many cooks today prefer to make a homemade version with fresher ingredients. Recipe developer has created a version of the classic recipe that not only adds nutritious cauliflower but is entirely plant-based, as well. The fresh vegetables and whole ingredients bring an improved taste and texture when compared to their processed counterparts. It does call for packaged fried onions, which are generally vegan, but it's straightforward to make those at home, as well, if you want to go all out ().

Rest assured that the vegan version is delightfully creamy, rich, and delicious, Bottalico says: "I added tahini not just for extra creaminess but also a subtle, deep, and nutty flavor that goes beyond the flavor of the usual casserole made with milk. If you're not a fan of tahini, you can just use almond milk or another non-dairy milk instead." This healthy recipe just might become your new holiday favorite.

Gather your vegan cauliflower and green bean casserole ingredients

For this recipe, you will need green beans, cauliflower, and mushrooms for the vegetables. Cremini or white button mushrooms will work well. Grab a shallot and a couple of garlic cloves for the aromatics, and olive oil for sauteing. Have some flour on hand to thicken the sauce. Any kind of wheat flour will be fine (or use cornstarch for a gluten-free option).

You'll need white wine, vegetable broth, and tahini for more creaminess, and also salt and pepper for seasoning. Lastly, pick up some fried onions to make the crispy top layer. Double check the label to make sure the onions are vegan, or if you're up to it, try making your own at home for a whole-food version.

Step 1: Boil the water

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Step 2: Cut the vegetables

Cut off the stem ends of the green beans and cut the beans in half. Cut any large cauliflower florets into smaller pieces so that all the cauliflower pieces are a similar size.

Step 3: Boil the vegetables

When the water boils, boil the green beans and cauliflower for 5 minutes.

Step 4: Drain the vegetables

Place the green beans and cauliflower in a colander, rinse with cold water to stop the cooking, and drain well. Set aside.

Step 5: Preheat the oven

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Step 6: Heat the oil

Heat the olive oil on medium heat in a large skillet.

Step 7: Cook the aromatics and mushrooms

Add the shallot, garlic, and mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms have reduced in size.

Step 8: Add the flour

Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes while stirring to evenly coat the mushrooms.

Step 9: Boil the wine

Pour in the wine. While it boils gently, stir for about 1 minute, until the liquid is almost gone.

Step 10: Add the broth and tahini

Pour in the broth and tahini and carefully stir to dissolve all of the tahini.

Step 11: Let the sauce thicken

Add the salt and pepper and let the mixture simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it is slightly thickened.

Step 12: Stir in the vegetables

Add the green beans and cauliflower to the skillet and stir gently to coat them with the sauce.

Step 13: Pour in baking dish

Pour the mixture into an oiled baking dish.

Step 14: Top with onions

Top the dish with the fried onions.

Step 15: Bake the casserole

Bake for 15 minutes, until the sauce is hot and bubbly and the onions are lightly browned.

Step 16: Cool and serve

Let the casserole cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

Can I make cauliflower and green bean casserole ahead of time?

Cooking a holiday meal is a bustle of activity, and you'll often need to have several dishes ready to serve at the same time. To make the preparation easier, some dishes can be made ahead and cooked or heated before serving, and this casserole is one of them. To make it ahead of time, follow most of the steps of the recipe and stop after you pour the mixture into an oiled baking dish (just leave out the step about preheating the oven). After you pour the hot casserole mixture into the dish, let it cool to room temperature, cover with foil, and refrigerate.

Don't freeze the casserole because the ingredients don't hold up well to freezing. The dish will become watery with an off texture. Although this recipe doesn't call for it, some people like to stir some of the fried onions into the sauce. We don't recommend doing that when making this ahead because the crisp onions will get soggy. Before you're ready to serve it, take the dish out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature for about 30 minutes. Then, all you need to do is preheat the oven, top the dish with fried onions, and bake it for 15 minutes, until it's hot and bubbly and the onions are nicely browned.

Can I substitute the ingredients in vegan cauliflower and green bean casserole?

This casserole is delicious as written, but if you don't have some of the ingredients or want to mix and match, you can do that with this recipe. If you're not a cauliflower fan, you can double up on the green beans, using 1 pound instead of ½ pound. If you prefer, feel free to use vegan butter instead of olive oil when you saute the onions and mushrooms to give the mixture a subtly richer taste. You can use any kind of wheat flour to thicken the sauce, but you may get less thickening or a different taste if you use gluten-free flour. To avoid that, you can use cornstarch as a thickener instead at a 1:1 ratio with the all purpose flour. If you can't find shallots, you can use onion instead.

Some people prefer not to cook with wine; in that case, you can substitute the wine with non-dairy milk or more vegetable broth. If you normally don't keep tahini in your kitchen, it might not be practical to buy it just to use a small amount. In this case, you can also use non-dairy milk instead of the tahini.